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  CSPAN    C-SPAN Weekend    News/Business.  

    September 26, 2010
    2:00 - 6:00am EDT  

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offshore in of tens of millions of agriculture and related jobs. this is already happening. when farms close, our country suffers. we lose the millions of so- called upstream and downstream jobs connected to those jobs, whether processing, packaging, transportation, feed production, manufacturing, accounting, advertising. these jobs are overwhelmingly feel by u.s. workers, get these jobs disappear when forms are closed. economists believe that for every form job loss, the u.s. loses another 3.1 complementary jobs. aside from a loss of millions of jobs, the closure of american forms endangers the nation's economy and national security. our national security depends on
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our ability to produce a stable domestic crude supply. like oil, the more we rely on other countries for our food supply, the more recall victim to an increase trade debt, scarcity in times of drought, fluctuating eckstrom market prices, and political pressure. we would also increase the possibility of foodborne illness is and terrorist attack your nation's food supply. the security is national security. america cannot afford to stop producing its own food supply, and we need the labor force to do so. today we will hear from our panel of witnesses to better understand this complex and very important issue for americans, american jobs, our economy, and our national security. people in the media spotlight have a special ability to focus public opinion on an issue, whether bono talking about third world party or angelina jolie advocating for protecting children against human trafficking, the power of media
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figures to use their celebrity to focus attention on the essential public issues is well known and well regarded. i am happy that stephen colbert has joined that region of celebrities who will use their media position to benefit others. as you can see from mr. colbert's written testimony, he has taken the time to walk in issues of migrant farmworkers, and he urges reforms of our immigration laws. i am happy that the united farmworkers introduce me to mr. colbert, who i had not met before, so we could spend a day on a farm together. his actions are a good example of how using both levity and fame, a media figure can bring attention to a critically important issue for the good of the nation. i appreciate all of our witnesses' efforts to be with us today and their leadership in this area, and i hope that together we can find solutions to these pressing problems. i would now recognize our
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distinguished ranking member, stephen king, for his opening statements. >> i appreciate being recognized, and i am wondering how the eskimos got along for all those centuries without fresh fruit and vegetables if it is a national security issue. i would like to focus my remarks on protecting american workers. illegal immigration, the lack of enforcement of our immigration laws, and today's jobs depression have formed a perfect score for hurting americans. the most important duty of the subcommittee is that we ensure our nation's immigration policy lives of americans, not hold them down. i find it hard to understand why some people carelessly claim that americans won't be hard work. i find this claim insulting, as i am sure most are working americans do. it is most insulting to those brave american soldiers to voluntarily risk their lives to defend our freedom and way of life every day. the men and women that have gone terrorist in iraq and afghanistan, travel miles across
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the desert with hundreds of pounds of gear for about $8 an hour. that includes the marines. maybe we should be spending less time watching comedy central and more time considering all the real jobs that are out there, ones that require real hard labor and don't involve sitting behind a desk. every day, american workers perform the dirtiest, most difficult, most dangerous jobs that can be thrown at them. from crab fisherman that venture into the rough is dangerous in the world, to that joe the plumber's of the world, who in many days would prefer the aroma of fresh dirt to that of sewerage from american in elitist who disparage them even as they flush. these are real americans doing real jobs, a task that simply must get done. when american workers are treated with respect and paid for the labor, they will do any job and outwork anyone on earth.
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on to agriculture. i represent rural district made up mostly of farmers and farm communities, and people buy when know what it takes to manage and effectively run a farm. one issue with attracting more workers to seasonal agricultural labor is that most my bra workers are consigned to perpetual poverty. -- most migrant workers are consigned to perpetual poverty. it is argued by the secretariat agriculture that food prices would be up to five times more if it were not for illegal immigrant workers. this is blatantly false and cannot be supported by any data. he does not bother to defend himself. data from the department of agriculture and the bureau of labor statistics show that labor costs only represents 6% of the price consumers pay for fresh fruits and vegetables. you could double the pay of
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workers and see only a 6% increase in the price to consumers. if there was a 40% increase in farm wages, the average household would spend only $8 more a year on fruits and vegetables, less than the price of a movie ticket. i am sure most americans would pay $8 more a year to ensure a legal work force. the reality is, employers hire desperate aliens who will work for much less than americans, driving wages down and making it impossible for american workers to compete. as ranking member smith has pointed out, there are 8 million illegal immigrants in the work force competing against the 15.4 million americans who are officially counted as unemployed, which includes the 80 million who are simply not in the work force because they have dropped out and are no longer looking for jobs.
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americans have given up looking for those jobs because wages have been depressed and job opportunities eliminated by a very -- very mobile immigration. a professor will testify about the toll mass emigration is taking on minority communities. all of this started happening well before the recession. a professor at harvard university did groundbreaking research on the impact of immigration in the 1980's and 1990's on low-skilled american workers. other researchers at the center for labor market studies at northeastern university found in 2005 that given large job losses among the nation's teenagers, a 20-24-year-old without a degree, black males and poorly educated native born men, it is clear that native-born workers have been displaced in recent years because of immigration.
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it is amazing to me that and as the advocate simply ignore that 80 million labor pool. we can either feed, clothe, and house them, or put them to work to feed and clothe the world. the current economic crisis magnifies the impact on american workers and families. unless emigration policies are changed, they will continue to be undermined even after the economy turns the corner. the heritage foundation found that the average household headed by an arrogant without a high-school degree -- by an immigrant, receives over $19,000 in benefits more than they pay in taxes. cheap labor. i think about the day that i had to swim out into a sewer lagoon and dive into 9 feet of wood to retrieve a pot. -- 9 feet of water to retrieve a pump.
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it is an insult to me to hear that americans won't do this work. i cannot think of a job i have not been willing to do, and i cannot think of an employee i have had in 28 years of construction that refuse to do the work. americans will do the work, but they want to be paid respectable ways to do it. >> with the agreement of the minority, we are recognizing the author theag jobs bill, mr. berman, for his statement. >> thank you very much, madame chair, and thank you very much for holding a hearing which perhaps like few others will highlight the conditions of migrant farm workers in this country and turn attention to
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this critical issue. i thank the chair and the ranking member of the committee. this is an issue i have been focused on for 40 years. in the last 10 years, with each session introduced bipartisan legislation to try and deal with this issue. unfortunately, because i chair another committee, i have a hearing at 10:00 so i appreciate the courtesy extended to let me jump in line here. i am going to forgo my opening statement, but i simply must respond to the comments of the ranking member on this particular issue. there is nothing that the chair said, nothing implicit in the
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take our jobs campaign, explicit or implicit, that said americans are not doing hard work. if the gentleman from iowa were deeply concerned about the conditions on the farms and the wages, i would have noticed more activity to ensure that a number of laws that apply to all other workers in america apply with equal force to the people who pick or fruits and vegetables in this country. i would see an effort to push greater appropriations and greater funding for people to monitor the working conditions on our farms. i would see an effort to try and get the rights that all other workers have to collective bargaining extended to form workers who are excluded from our national collective bargaining legislation. the fact is that while americans over and over again have produced -- have shown both
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their courage and willingness to undertake terribly difficult jobs, jobs that i would dare to say the people on this podium, including myself, would be very reluctant to take, study after study, including studies at the time of welfare reform, where huge numbers of people were going to be forced off the welfare rolls, in counties where unemployment was two or three times the average of the country generally, people would rather have no income and no welfare and take the backbreaking jobs -- then take the backbreaking jobs that the migrant farm worker has to do every single day. there is a problem here. you can try and cheap seat it want, but were it not
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for immigrant farm workers in this country, there would be no seasonal fresh fruit and vegetable industry. i join the gentleman wanting better wages and better working conditions, and we should do everything we can to try and improve those conditions. the facts are the facts. study after study has demonstrated that these jobs are not taken by u.s. workers, even when they have no other means of support. i commend the gentle lady for holding this hearing. i want to pay special recognition to my friend, the president of the united farmworkers, and the other witnesses as well. i hope to come back when my hearing is over, but i apologize for not being able to be here for the entire hearing.
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>> mr. smith. >> thank you. american workers faced tough economic times. jobs have become scarce and millions of families are hurting. there are more than 7 million illegal workers in the united states. a clinton administration i nsa official and now deputy commissioner for refugees -- admit how many illegal workers
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there are. this has had consequences that are devastating. american workers are unemployed, forced to work part-time, or too discouraged to look for work. for native born african americans without a high-school degree, the rate is 43%. we could make millions of jobs available to american citizens and legal immigrants if the federal government simply enforced our immigration laws. about half of migration workers are illegal immigrants. that means a substantial number of illegal workers labor in the field, perhaps as many as half. and certainly more would take jobs if the wages and working conditions were better. the most effective means we have to save jobs for americans are u.s. immigration and customs enforcement work site actions. each time they detained and deported an illegal worker, they
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created opportunities for an american worker. each time they sanction an employer, it sends a clear message that illegal workers will not be tolerated. unfortunately, this administration is turning its back on american workers. administrative arrests have fallen 79% since 2008. criminal arrests up fallen 62%. it is hard to conceive of a worse time to cut worksite enforcement efforts by more than half, and yet that is what the obama administration has done. the department of homeland security will tell you that they have increased the number of works by audits of employers. employers consider the small fines or the cost of doing business. what happens to the illegal workers? they walk down the street and take another job that could have gone to an american worker. citizens and legal immigrants
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should not be forced to compete for scarce and jobs with illegal immigrants. the imam administration should put the interests of american workers -- the obama administration should but the interests of american workers first. steven cole there has shed light on the issue but -- stephen colbert has shed light on the the issue of immigrant workers. he asked, do not want cheap labor -- do we not want cheap labor doing the jobs americans do not want to do it? he added, yes, unless you are an american landscaper or construction worker. fortunately, in a tv host, so my job is safe. it is no laughing matter to pretend that americans do not want jobs. do not insult american workers
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by telling them the government cares more about illegal workers than u.s. citizens. thank you. i will yield back. >> mr. conyers will be recognized for any opening statement he may wish to give at this time. >> i would like to propose to mr. king that we formed this committee so that we could have everybody worked very quickly. between you and i, we could probably recruit hundreds of thousands of people and solve this problem, even though the farm workers could not do it, senator feinstein was not successful. you say it is pretty easy, so i would like to work with you on
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this. what do you say? >> i appreciate you yielding to me. i have a actually recruited farmworkers and hired them and paid them. i had to raise the wages and benefits in order to attract people. i know that migrants go to california for jobs. if you raise the wages, the workers will show up, the legal workers will show up. >> so, the answer is yes? >> i would be happy to do that. hopefully we can consider the labor is a commodity like corn or beans and that supply and demand will establish its value in the marketplace. >> you would not have any objection to them being organized members of the union? >> i think if you want to market your skills as a worker in america, you do it the way you best can. >> thank you. see you after the hearing. we will get started.
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and now to stephen colbert, whom i enjoy and have for many years. you have helped us build a room. i have not seen this and carries a sense, when -- this many cameras sense, a plan? >> maybe it was impeachment. >> on haunting remembrance. here is what i will suggest so that we can get to the bottom of this. mr. colbert has presented us with a fine statement. it will be entered into the wreckage -- into the record. he has a huge march coming up in
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washington which many people are going to be at, i know. i have a very good feeling about that. i will be busy working in michigan, trying to turn out the vote. we have been having very low voter turnout. that is the only reason i will not be with you in the march. but i would like to recommend now that we have all this attention, that you excuse yourself and let us get on with the three witnesses and all of the other members there. we are sure it will be shown on the show tonight, and maybe monday.
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you run your e show. we run the committee. what do you say to that? >> i do not understand the question. >> i am not asking you not to talk. i am asking you to leave the committee room completely and submit your statement instead. >> mr. chairman, i am wondering microphonecolbert's is not on. he cannot be heard. i think he can ponder what you said. i think many are eager to hear his comments. >> that is fair enough.
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>> i am here at the invitation of the chairwoman. if she would like me to remove myself from the hearing room, i am happy to do so. i am only here at her invitation. >> that is good enough. >> the gentleman's time is expired. >> we will now hear from mr. lundgren who will make an opening statement. in the interest of proceeding to our witnesses, we will invite other members to submit their statements for the record. >> thank you. i have been working on this issue for some 30 years. i confess that i was the republican floor manager for the simpson-mazzoli bill. i thought that time that we had presented a reasonable solution to the problem of immigration. unfortunately, what was supposed to be co one time program --
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supposed to be a one time program, had a total failure in respect to enforcement. the seasonal agricultural worker and rick punishment agricultural worker programs -- and replenishment agricultural worker programs were repeated with fraud, which some people suggest it would happen when we proposed that section of the bill. since that time because of a lack of enforcement by the federal government, we have seen the continuation of the flow of illegal immigration into this country to a larger dimension data was in the 1980's. at the same time, we have the highest rate of unemployment i have seen in my lifetime. california has a higher unemployment rate in all 50 states.
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it is a severe problem. i have agriculture in my district and i have urban areas in my district. it seems to me that we ought to be -- we ought to put all the facts on the table and understand that there are different segments of our economy, most of which, in my opinion, can successfully attract american workers. i see no reason right now for the presumed or assumed lack of opportunities for african- american young males in the construction trade. i see no evidence whatsoever in the area of construction or landscaping that there is a need for foreign workers. i think the intelligent thing for us to do is establish a law that would allow us to look,
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economic sector by economic sector, and make a determination through our government as to whether or not there is a need for farmworkers. i have never worked in the fields. i worked on ranches. i worked in construction. working in shipyards. it is all tough work. i doubt it is as tough as the work have seen individuals in the farm fields do. it is really tough work. being from california, i happen to believe there is evidence that we cannot attract sufficient americans for agricultural purposes. i have always protest that we have to establish a program that works, and that the american people determine through their elected officials the condor's of, and that on an annual basis we'd make a determination as to
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how many people are needed in this country. one of the problems with the proposed bill is separate -- is that it provides a path to citizenship as a major tenant of this program. i do not think that is necessary. the reason i say that is this. there is an essential notion in our society, a belief from the time in schoolyards and beyond that that cutting in line is unfair. i have to ask the people from countries who followed a lot -- the law, what does it say to them if they get put behind those who were not following the law? i think we can reach a satisfactory conclusion to this if we recognized that enforcement in the past was not
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there and therefore encouraged continuing illegal immigration. a failure to have a workable temporary worker program has caused some of the problem that we have, and i think thirdly, that you do not have to have an amnesty component in the program. there are other ways we can treat people humanely and deal with this problem. i fear, madam chair, that if we have this as a component of any legislation that we have, the american people will not support it and we will fail to deal with a real challenge. among all of the issues that we have, we always see that we also have the backdrop of the threat of terrorism. i am not and never have suggested that the people here illegally are terrorists, but the longer you have a porous
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border, the greater you have a chance that terrorists will take advantage of that. that is not something we had to deal with the 1984-1986 the way we have to deal with today. madam chair, thank you. i also thank mr. colbert for bringing attention to the question of workers in the field. we're not sure what will happen in return and what will appear on television -- and i know he would never take anything out of context. [laughter] i might as well quit while i am ahead. >> thank you, and your time is expired. i would like to introduce the panel of witnesses before us, and i will start by introducing dr. carol swain, a professor of
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science and political law at vanderbilt university, and a member of the james madison society at princeton university. she received her bachelor's from roanoke college and her master's from virginia polytechnic institute. she holds a ph.d. from the university of north carolina, chapel hill. in 2000, she was awarded an m.l.s. from yale law school. she specializes in that race relations and is the author of several books, including her most recent, "debating immigration." next, i would like to introduce phil glaze, a third-generation fruit grower and former chairman of the apples association. he serves the interests of the entire american apple industry. he is an active member of the
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coalition for immigration reform. his family business grows, packs and ships apples, and has been producing apples since the 1920's. it is my pleasure to introduce our third witness, arturo rodri giez. since 1993, he has served as the president of the united farm workers, note first founded by cesar chavez. he holds a master's degree in social work from the university of michigan and has worked for the usw since 1973. he has oliver -- he has over 35 years of experience organizing
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former erskine negotiating contracts, and working for -- organizing farm workers, negotiating contracts, and working for fair wages and working conditions. finally, stephen colbert is a peabody award winning host of the comedy central television show, "the colbert report." he and his team have a one two emmys for outstanding -- have earned two emmys were outstanding writing. he recently teook a trip to a working farm to understand the circumstances of the american farm worker. each of you has prepared a written statement. those will be made part of our
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official record. at this point, we would like to summarize your statement and about five minutes. -- we would like you to summarize your statement in about five minutes. there is a machine on your table that will give you a green light when you have time and a red light when you should summarize and finish. we will go first to dr. swain. >> good morning. thank you for allowing me to testify on this important issue. i speak today on behalf of millions of americans who would like to see immigration laws vigorously enforced. i contend that america does not have a shortage of agricultural workers.
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instead, we have a manufactured crisis by some the web like to ensure a steady supply of cheap labor -- by some who would like to ensure a steady supply of cheap labor and bypass existing programs. a labor economist who has conducted extensive studies of farm labor has found a rise in production and a stagnant wawages for workers. if there were labor shortages for agricultural workers, one would expect to find rising wages and more attractive working conditions. one would not expect to find an unemployment rate of 10.8% in
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may and 7.9% in august. these figures indicate that there are native workers actively seeking employment in agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting. the majority of these workers have less than a high-school education. they work under the most strenuous conditions. there is a high turnover rate among these workers. agricultural workers often leave the farms or other low-wage, low skill occupations. there they compete directly with low skill americans for a dwindling supply of low-wage jobs. the "take our jobs" initiative entirely misses the point. america cannot continue to bring in low-skilled guest workers to compete with the most disadvantaged americans, the poor whites, blacks, legal hispanics, and others whom are
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here legally. nor can it continue to turn a blind eye to illegal immigration. often migration into the field migrates into other industries. without illegal labor, employers would be forced to pay higher wages and improve substandard working conditions. instead of paying $8 or $9 per hour, employers might be forced to pay $12 or $13. an increase in the wages of farm workers would not substantially increase the average family's food bill. the average family's food bill would rise by about $8 per year. the take our jobs initiative mrs. the fact that in some parts of the country, native workers have successfully worked alongside immigrants. yesterday, i had a conversation with a businessman from nashville who ran a one-year experiment in arkansas
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involving sweet potato planting and harvesting. he invested over a quarter of a million dollars of his own money to help unemployed americans get jobs in the field in an area of the country where unemployment is around 40% for african americans. his experiment involved the agricultural workers who are and a native-bornisas blacks. they were picked up, transported to the site, provided with facilities and at decent wage. he noted no difference in the quality of work provided by the native-born black workers, and concluded that americans would do farm work if they had transportation and decent working conditions. even though he had a program that was providing jobs for unemployed americans, he could
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not get state or federal agencies to make an investment in this program. he would like to see an independent farm services company created to stand between the workers and the growers. they would hire the workers, provide air-conditioned transportation, buses, a bathroom facilities, and served as a middleman between the bathroom workers and the growers. the "take our jobs" initiative has not made an effort to recruit american workers. this is a publicity stunt. we need to reform immigration. there is an oversupply of labor from foreign countries that works against the interests of native workers. it depresses our wages, reduces the opportunities, and deters employers from investing in native human capital. compounding these problems, native-born blacks and hispanics suffer more than any other
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groups. just look at the unemployment rate. it is in my testimony. it is off the charts. this is a disgrace. congress needs to do something about reforming immigration and they need to protect the most disadvantaged americans. >> thank you very much. we turn now to mr. glaze for your testimony. >> i am honored to testify today on behalf of the u.s. apple association and the agricultural coalition for immigration reform. i am a third-generation fruit farmer with operations in virginia. we employ from 30 to 155 workers, depending on the time of year. the fact that i appear before
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you today as a farmer with the president of u f w should send a very powerful message. we have a common problem. despite continued attempts at automation, apple's still need to be manually pruned and hand- picked. the work as physically demanding and a certain amount of skill is necessary. apple's bruce greatly -- apples bruise easily, and improper picking will greatly reduce the value of our crop. today, farmers rely on legal and illegal workers. without a solution, farms will fail. we will export jobs and lose our food. government statistics tell us that 80% of farm workers are
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foreign-born, and half of those are unauthorized. only 2%, are coming in through the existing program. many believe that native-born workers will harvest american specialty crops, however, the take our jobs campaign is just the latest in a series of unsuccessful efforts in good and bad times, in michigan, washington, california and elsewhere to recruit americans into farm jobs. those of us struggling to harvest our crops are not surprised that take our jobs is only producing a handful of workers. it is not about hourly wages. farm workers can earn more picking apples and flipping burgers or stocking shelves in a big box store. the average worker on my farm earns $93 for a nine hour day.
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like so many agricultural jobs, and picking apples is highly seasonal. it is out in the the weather and demanding. i have a kicking bucket of apples here. i invite every member to come down and put it on, then understand what it is like to put that on 150 times per day going up and down a ladder. most people in this room understand that our immigration system is broken. some are trying to use the guest worker program but face huge obstacles and uncertainty. just last month, apple growers in the northeast had a huge disaster when the state department and immigration services put applications of hundreds of jamaican workers in jeopardy just days before the grower needed them to start harvest. members of congress intervened and the workers arrived at the last moment. a few more days of an action could have meant losses of $90 million for the growers.
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the program is a mess. the choice between using the dysfunctional program or hiring workers whose documents look good but may not be is untenable. in the u.s., we have a short window of a couple of months to get about two hundred million bushels of apples off the trees. as the apples ripen, there is about a five day window to pick them that the proper maturity. different varieties and strains allow us to manage the harvest over the course of 8-10 weeks. the arrival of workers has 8 -- the delay of the arrival of workers have a domino effect. what is most worrisome to me as a grower is the reality that we could lose a large portion or even a whole crop if willing and able packers are not available. at harvest time, all but the picking costs have been invested. we are fully utilized. we have a labor investment that
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must be converted to cash. if we lose packers, we could easily be forced to liquidate part of our farm to pay lenders. this could happen quickly and without warning. one year is all the would take. the threat of losing farms and all of the jobs depended on them is worsening due to congressional inaction. at least 80,000 acres of high- value production workers have left california for arizona and mexico. 70% of producers report scaling back due to labor shortfalls. oranges are moving to mexico and brazil. china has requested access to our markets for fresh apples, and they already produce over half of the world apples. if the u.s. is starved for labor, the chinese are ready to step in. in the face of a crisis, retrieving lost production will not happen quickly. average profitability does not
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really give a proper return given the risk that we take. for most of us, the reasons we stated our not economical. a major live goal for me is to provide jobs to as many people as possible. i am compelled to be able to pass on our farm to someone who will take it. labor shortages are not going to find me a willing buyer. it is a serious economic problem that congress has not addressed for far too long. now is the time. i am extremely supported -- supportive of this legislation. comprehensive reform may be too politically charged right now. please focus on agricultural jobs and get it passed. >> good morning. i would like to thank the chairman and ranking members of the committee for holding this
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hearing. i am the president of the united farm workers of america. joining me today are five farm workers. i would like to ask them to stand up. isabel has 40 years working in the field. she started at age 12. he started at 14, 33 years working in the field. 14, working 43 years in the field. 17, started working, has 34 years working in the field. the very proud to be with all of them here today. today, across america, the harvest season is reaching its peak. more than a million men women and children are toiling in our nation's fields producing our fruits and vegetables. they are caring for our livestock. most americans have the luxury to operate in ignorance or denial about how the food we eat get on our table.
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agriculture in the united states is dependent on hard-working, dedicated, taxpaying immigrant work forces. three-quarters of all farm workers are born outside of the country today. these are the facts. america needs workers. everyone in this room is sustained by their labor every day. if you had a glass of florida orange juice with your breakfast this morning, it is almost certain the oranges that went into that jews were picked by unauthorized workers. -- that went into that jewuice were picked by unauthorized workers. when we sit down to give thanks every day for the food at the table, most of that food has been hardest by unauthorized workers. -- harvested by unauthorized workers. the life of a farm worker is not easy. most live in poverty, poor
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working conditions, and without government assistance. they take jobs other americans won't do for pay other american workers want except under conditions other americans will not tolerate. who is to blame? it is not the farm workers' fault that 15 states do not even provide the basic protection of workers' compensation if they are injured at work. it is not the farm workers' fault that more than 70 years after the labor relations act, farmers still do not have a -- farm workers still do not have a right to organize. it is not the farm workers' fault that year after year they violate the -- farmers violate the laws and avoid responsibility for those workers. there are risks and costs associated with the seasonal agricultural industry. if there is a freeze, as
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occurred many times recently in florida, thousands of workers are left without work. there is no unemployment assistance for those workers during that time. a worker is injured, oftentimes there is no real recurved -- real recourse. we, the united farm workers, initiated the "take our jobs" campaign. we invited legal citizens to apply for jobs at farms across the country, to supply our houses, restaurants and workplace cafeterias, including those at the nation's capital, with the fate that fuels the people of this great nation. we have received rs/6000 inquiries, but only seven people -- we have received over 6000 inquiries, but only seven people have accepted jobs and continue to work in agriculture. the government estimates that
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u.s. agriculture would need to hire at least 1 million citizens, legal residents, to replace the immigrant laborers. a mass deportation of agricultural workers would cause the collapse of the agricultural industry as we know it, and we feel that would have a severe impact on maintaining a very much needed industry in our society today, as well as providing american consumers with safe food. we continue our work. we urged that agricultural jobs the past year by the congress, that you seriously look at giving legal status to the farmers better year today. the growers, the employers, the agricultural industry is asking for a secure farm labor force. we think it is the obligation of this committee as well as this congress to take action immediately on that issue. now is the time for congress to the knowledge its role in creating what exists today as a
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farming crisis, and establish a real, lasting solution. it is time to consider the dignity of the farm labor work force and considered -- and since you're the safety and abundance of the american food ensure the-- and in shor safety and abundance of the american food supply. >> can i just say that after listening to dr. swain i withdraw my previous request that i made to stephen. >> thank you. we turn now to mr. colbert for is five minutes of testimony. >> good morning. i am american citizen. it is an honor and privilege to be here today. the congresswomen asked me to share my vast experience, spending one day as a migrant
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farm worker. i am happy to use my celebrity to draw attention to this important, complicated issue. i certainly hope that my star power can bump this hearing all the way up to c-span-1. as we heard this morning, american farms are far too dependent on immigrant labor to pick our fruits and vegetables. the obvious answer is for all of us to stop eating fruits and vegetables. and, if you look at the recent obesity statistics, you'll see that many americans already started. unfortunately, my gastroenterologists has informed me in no uncertain terms that they are a necessary source of roughage. at evidence, and like to submit a video of my colonoscopy into the record. we all know there is a long history of great nations importing farmworkers to do their work. after all, it was the ancient israelites who built the first food pyramid. but this is america. i do not want a tomato picked by
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and mexican. i was picked by an american, sliced by guatemalans, served by a venezuelan, in a spot where it to land gives me a brazilian. chin a spa where at canda lean gives me a brazilian. so, we do not want emigrant's doing this labor. i agree that we must secure our borders. who then would pick our crops? first of all, do not interrupt me when i am talking. that is rare. second, i object to the idea that farm work is one of the mythical jobs that americans will not do. really? and no americans? i did, as part of my ongoing
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series, "fallback positions," where i take on other jobs in order to realize that mine is way better. i am understand many democrats may be looking for work, november. i will admit. i started my work day with preconceived notions of migrant labor. after working with these men and women, picking beans, packing corn for hours on end, side-by- side in the unforgiving sun, i have to say, please do not make me do this again. it is really, really hard. for one thing, when you're picking beans, you have to spend all day bending over. it turns out, and i did not know this, and most soil is at ground level. if we can put a man on the man, why can we not make earth ways
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to hide? come on. where is the funding -- why can we not make the earth waist- high? come on. where is the funding? normally i believe this to the invisible hand of the market, but the invisible hand has already moved over 22,000 farm jobs to mexico and shut down over 1 million acres of u.s. farmland due to lack of available labor. apparently, even the invisible hand it does not want to pick beans. i am not a fan of the government doing anything, but i have to ask, why isn't the government doing anything? maybe this bill would help. i do not know. like most members of congress, i have not read it. but maybe we could offer more visas to the immigrants who, let's face it, will probably be doing the job anyway. this improved legal status might
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allow the recourse if they are abused. it stands to reason that your co-worker cannot be exploited, you're less likely to be exploited yourself, and that in itself might improve pay and working conditions on these farms, and eventually americans may consider taking these jobs again. maybe that is crazy. maybe the easy answer is to develop vegetables that pick themselves. the genetic engineers at fruit of the lamb have made great strides in human/fruit hybrids. the point is, we have to do something, because i am not going back out there. at this point, i break into a cold sweat at the site of a salad bar. thank you for your time. i trust that following my testimony, both sides will work together on this issue in the best interests of the american people as you always do. [laughter] i am now prepared to take your questions and pose for pictures
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with your grandchildren. i yield the balance of my time. usa, number one. >> thank you very much. thank you to all of the witnesses for their testimony. we will now begin with questions. if mr. conyers is ready, i will recognize mr. conyers for questions or five minutes. >> thank you. i appreciate all of the testimony of all of the witnesses. that mr.o observe d submitted stayman was significantly different than the one he presented, but that -- submitted statement was significantly different than the presented, but that is a small detail.
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you spoke of a conversation you had with a grower who had a program to provide jobs to african-americans, but in your te that testimony you stay tha he closed the program because he could not get federal agencies or state agencies to provide money. it sounds like he could not make it profitable without government investment, right? >> k.i.a. invested a quarter of a million dollars of his on money -- he invested a quarter of a million dollars of his own money. he has worked with blanche lincoln on these issues. he is very much involved in issues affecting people that are disadvantaged. >> i know he is a good guy, but
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he could not get enough money, right? >> he could not get a federal official to invest in a program that was providing employment for americans. >> he could not get enough money, right? >> i do not understand your point. >> you do not have to understand the point. is it right or wrong? he did not get enough money, and that is why he went out of business, even though he had invested a lot of his money, he was a good guy. >> he did not go out of business. he has a well known, profitable company. he -- >> but a closed the program. >> closed the program. >> why? >> because he could not get members of congress, state and local officials to be interested in the plight of disadvantaged americans. he spends his energies in other places. >> do you really know that? i do not know anybody on this
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committee or too many in the congress -- >> mr. conyers, the black caucus is not representing african- american interests on this particular issue. >> i am glad maxine waters is not here today. [laughter] boy oh boy. [laughter] the point that this discussion comes down to is that dan lungren, my dear friend from california, former attorney general, he does not like the bill, but he does not have a bill. steve king and i are forming a committee after word to make sure -- >> i do have a bill. >> you do have a bill? thank you. what is the number? well, we will find it.
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if you say you have one, your word is your bond. but steve king and i are forming a committee to recruit people. dr. swain, you are from vendor build. you must know that only 4 percent -- from vanderbilt. he must know that only 4% of the people doing this kind of labor or african americans, right? >> if americans -- >> right or wrong? >> they are being undercut by the surplus of cheap labor. >> i presume you are saying yes. >> i am not in a court of law, so i do not have to say yes or no. >> you are not under oath either.
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>> idea will get you will look at the suggestion -- i do hope that you will look at his suggestions. >> have you looked at mr. rodriguez's suggestions? >> i have read everyone's testimony. >> what do you think of his? he is representing the nine people in red shirts sitting in back of you. what do you think of his position? >> i would like to see nothing better than to see farmworkers' well-paid with decent working conditions. >> of course you do. but what do you think of the rodriguez position? are you in agreement with it? >> as long as the unemployment figures are 7.9% in the agricultural sector, i cannot agree that there is a shortage of workers.
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>> then i invite you to join me and mr. king on at this committee. >> i would love to work on immigration issues. >> will you join our committee after the hearing? >> i am not a member of congress. i represent the american people. >> the gentleman's time has expired. the ranking member has asked that we go next to mr. smith. >> dr. swain, thank you for your excellent testimony and for trying to answer the questions you have been asked. i have a couple more questions. the first is this. why are the interests of the american people not being better represented? >> i think it is because the american people are not organized and lobbying. most of them are trying to make a living. they are not in the pressure group that seems to have the most influence of congress. >> you regarding your testimony to the dangers of what we might
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call a "chain of guest workers." if they come in and are allowed tuesday they will probably take another job at higher pay -- allowed to stay, they will probably take another job at higher pay. what is the consequence of that? >> they work in hotels, restaurants. they do yard work. there is a displacement of american workers. whenever there is a crackdown, all of the jobs that we were told americans would not take, we see thousands of americans lining up to take. there are employees -- there are employers that would prefer immigrant labor because it is easier to exploit. >> mr. colbert, let me ask you questions. first of all, i think he made some good points, particularly
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about democrats in november and the need for congress to rebuild. i am going to take that as an endorsement of the republicans pledged to america, because we have a provision in there that requires leadership to give 72 hours' notice of any bill that we have before we vote on it on the house floor. let me give you a second opportunity to be more serious, because i know you do take this subject seriously. i would like to ask about your experience when you worked one day in the fields of new york. how many other workers were with you that day? >> i did not take account. i am fuzzy with math. i would say 50. >> how many were in the field? >> about 100. >> how many were illegal and how many were legal? >> i did not ask them for their papers. >> there might well have been
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illegal workers there, is that correct? >> i do not know. >> then it is hard to say they were all illegal. my point is, if some of them are legal, and i presume they were, that shows that americans were willing to do those jobs. do you know how much they were paid? >> even if they were legal, i do not know if they were american citizens. >> how much were they paid by the hour? >> i do not know. i did not do a good enough job to get paid, can i guess the salary. >> they need to do a good job to get paid. i know you are an expert comedian and entertainer. i know you have a great sense of humor. would you call yourself an expert witness when it comes to farm labor issues or not? >> i believe i was invited here
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today by the congresswomen because i was one of 16 people who took the united farm workers up on the experience of having migrant farm work for a single day. if there are other members of the committee did that, there is no purpose of me being here. >> does one day make you an expert witness? >> i believe that one day of me studying anything makes me an expert. [laughter] >> it is more work and then you have ever done before? >> it is certainly harder work and then guess. >> is it harder than the comedy show. >> it is absolutely harder than punditry. >> and you do not want to return to it? >> i do not even want to watch green acres anymore. >> i am happy you are here and i think you make a good point.
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>> i do endorse all republican policies without question. >> including the requirement to have 72 hours to read the bill before voting on it? >> absolutely. >> thank you for your endorsement. i yield back. >> the gentleman yields back. i would turn out to the gentle lady from texas, ms. sheila jackson lee. >> thank you. i think this is an essential hearing, and i thank the witnesses for being here. i do not disagree with you, and dr. swain. i think we should not turn a blind eye to illegal
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immigration. we should engage. we have tried to fairly engage in the question of illegal immigration by putting forward a plan of comprehensive immigration reform bill that addresses the question of a process, if you will, of access to citizenship. over the years, we have talked up the importance of providing a widespread view of americans and creating jobs, and ensuring that there is an investment in the skills of americans. we probably do not disagree on that. we find ourselves, however, in the political climate where if wright was right and truth was truth, you could not find on
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this committee a bipartisan pathway to be able to effectively deal with fixing the immigration system. doing some of the things that you have said. which means that we could, in fact, members on this side of the aisle have agreed. we could take some of those fees and invest in training. we did that, training nurses, training farmworkers, training others that happen to be, as you have declared, people here in the united states. we wish we could take up your challenge, because that would be the right thing to do. but we find ourselves in a dilemma where we cannot get anyone that is on the other side of the aisle to look reasonably at the crisis that we face. to mr. colbert, the last sentence in your testimony is
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something i agree with. you truly know a man when you have walked a mile in his shoes, and you have been granted a sliver of insight. i want to pose a series of questions and start first with mr. rodriguez. mr. rodriguez, howdy rebut the comments that your effort was a bogus -- how do you agree but the comments that your effort was a bogus effort? >> we came up with this idea in a meeting with some of the farm workers i just introduced to you. we wanted to sensitize and inform the american public about this issue in a way that everyone could hopefully better understand. as a result of that, the workers came up with the suggestion. let's invite legal citizens, politicians, policy makers to
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come and work in the fields so that they can understand that farm workers are not here, immigrant workers are not here to take away american jobs. as a result of that and some discussion, we came up with the idea of "take our jobs." we got a very interesting response from people upon doing that. when mr. colbert decided to invite is on the show to talk about that, it gave more like to that particular issue. -- a light to that particular issue. >> she said you were not serious. >> we were very serious. >> is the program still in place? >> we have people dedicated every day to listening to individuals that call in to us, checking our website, trying to assess it -- >> so you are serious about it.
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mr. colbert, i take it that you have had enough experience -- are you speaking only to farm workers or do you see the value in answering the call of dr. swain? do you think it is long overdue for this nation to pass a comprehensive immigration reform plan that looked at all aspects of those who are undocumented who are seeking an opportunity, particularly young people who need to access our colleges and schools? >> i think there are way too many undocumented mexican workers here in the united states doing jobs. i think we have to ignore the issue for too long. i think it is time to roll up our sleeves and face this issue mano a -- whatever the spanish
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word for mano is. >> i hope this hearing will lead tono job should be diminished. the workers that are behind you -- their job is not diminished. but then we can work with each other and tell america that we're working together. >> the gentle lady's time has expired. i just want to note for the ranking member spat the democratic rule is that -- ranking members that the democratic rule is that all bills be posted before 72 hours on the internet. i now yield for your questions. >> thank you, madam chair. since i have no life, i actually do read the bills, including the health care bill.
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i also read the arizona law, unlike some people in the administration. i want to thank you all for being here. it is good to see a fellow texan. there're a couple of issues. one, legal immigration vs illegal immigration. legal workers versus illegal. i think that the problem is the illegal workers. if the country needs more legal immigrants to work, that is an issue that needs to be solved to the answer is not just to allow more illegals into the country. the answer is to solve the legal process to come here as a migrant worker. that seems to be the problem that should be solved. the other issue is wages. based on your written testimony, a person that works in the field can make up to $3 or $360 per
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week -- $300 or three in a $60 per week. a person can draw unemployment as a citizen of up to $390 per week. if americans are not employed and receiving unemployment and the wages are so low in the farm industry, they lose the motivation to work because people in the farm industry are underpaid, whether they are legal or illegal. as far as jobs that americans won't do -- i represent southeast texas. i represent people that work off shore. talk about hard jobs. those jobs are very tough for americans to do, but they do that because they get compensated for the work that they do. low wages seems to be the issue here, not whether or not we should allow people to stay in the country or be in the country illegally. low wages, fix the process to
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let people come in if we need the workers, and deal with a 14 million unemployed americans, 4.5 million which -- of which are drawing up to $390 of unemployment for up to 99 weeks. i want to go back to dr. swain and ask her to rectify and resolve the issues i have just mentioned. i represent a great number of minorities in texas. 14% of them are unemployed. how would you see a system to create fair wages, which is where everybody is paying taxes, not just some people -- how would you see congress moving in the direction regarding legal immigrants to work and getting
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more americans working? >> i think the first thing that we need to do is, as i said before, enforce the existing law and to put in the e-verify program that the federal government already has. many people voluntarily sign up for that program. if that program was mandatory across the country, it would create opportunities for american workers. there are millions of illegal immigrants that are working on the payrolls that should not have jobs. these are jobs that should go to american workers. i think we need to enforce the laws that are on the books and then see how much surplus labor we may need. if we have a labor shortage after we enforce the law, then we need to look at the guest worker programs and see how to change them. it should be easier for people to come to the united states
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legally. we should reward those that do with the right way and not allow their interests to somehow be -- the interest of people who come here legally seem to get the worst end of the deal. i have friends who are immigrants who that tried to do with the right way. many of them feel like it would give a better deal if they were to fall out of status and become a legal rather than try to do it legally. i would like to respond to the comment about the take our jobs initiative. the very fact that they named it take our jobs is a deterrent. the name itself implies that the jobs belong to someone else. the immigrants are saying take our jobs. i do not know many people without would want to take a job that belongs to someone else -- do not know many people who would want to take a job that belongs to someone else.
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>> mr. rodriguez, in the farm worker industry, approximately how many people in the industry to more foreign nationals are legally here or illegally here? can you give me a percentage? >> shore. the estimate by the federal government and the department of labour is about 53%. based on my own experience, it is probably more like 70% for unauthorized workers in the agricultural work force today. >> one last comment. they agree with dr. swain and that we need to fix the legal immigration system. it is too complicated. it takes too long. i will yield back. >> the gentleman yield back. >> i will now return to the gentle lady from california for five minutes. >> thank you, madam chairwoman. i find this hearing to be most interesting. the question of whether or not
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immigrant workers are taking jobs from americans and african- americans have been mentioned a lot here today. i'm so pleased to hear that so many people are interested in african-americans getting jobs. i am also interested in the fact that all of a sudden, we're hearing discussion about increased wages. one of the biggest troubles we have had in this congress is increasing the minimum wage to this is very enlightening to me -- increasing the minimum wage. this is very enlightening to me as i listen to some my colleagues on the other side of the aisle. there are americans and african- americans who would work on some of these jobs. let me just assure you, for the people in my district, this is not a high priority for the kind of jobs they would like to have.
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i imagine the very desperate ones would take some of the jobs for a limited time, if it concerns survival. but if i had to support subsidizing corporations to hire workers, i would not put my emphasis on farm labor. i would put my emphasis on construction jobs. for example, in my district, a lot of young people who are not well-educated asked for and seek out the opportunity to work on construction jobs. we had one program that was laying fiber optics. many of the young people did not have skills learned to do this kind of work. whether we're talking about construction or communication,
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training is available and possible. i would subsidize employers to bring those jobs. i would also subsidize employers to bring jobs from offshore back into the united states where they would be in the inner cities and entered- urban areas. this business of talking about transportation from urban areas to rural areas is just unreal. it is not something that is workable. so, i would like to focus a little bit on comprehensive immigration reform. i think that is really what we should be talking about. i would like to ask my friend, mr. rodriguez, that i have known for many years and am proud to say that i was in the california legislature when howard berman led the way on all of the reforms that we did for immigrant workers, working with
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cesar chavez. i think he was one of the most profound organizers of our time. let me ask you, in the immigration reform, if we talk about allowing citizenship to be made available to farm workers, how would you frame that? would you say that, if you have been here working without papers for four years, five years, two, 10, you should be afforded citizenship? how would you do that? >> thank you very much, congressman -- congresswoman waters. we have a solution in the legislation that mr. berman and the other member of the congress, adam putnam, had put together and fashioned to deal with the agricultural industry as physically. a worker who worked 150 days in agriculture in the previous two
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years would be allowed to become part of the abbey jobs program -- ag jobs program. it would not get automatic legalization. it would be put into a program -- they would not get automatic legalization. they would be put into a program for the next three to five years. they would pay outport of $500 million of fines for being here and coming into the country and documented. -- on document -- undocumented. would use the -- >> would you support significant fines for employers who break the law? >> once we get this settled, i think there should be an enforcement policy put into place to make sure we do not have continued immigrants coming in violating the laws. >> do you think there are some immigrants who should be
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deployed -- deported for some reason, whether they are criminals? >> if the immigrant has a violated serious loss, yes, that is a reason for their deportation. >> would you support immigration reform? some way of keeping families together where you have undocumented immigrants who have been here for some time, children going here, -- children born here, and then the mother or father is faced with deportation. how would you deal with that? >> the gentle lady's time has expired. we will ask the witness to answer. >> i would support anything that keeps families together. that is the basis of our families -- our society. immigrant families want to be
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together. >> we now turn to mr. lungren. >> thank you very much. there is a democratic caucus rule of 72-hour notice. you ought to inform your leadership. just three weeks ago, i received thattice of a bill contained part of a bill that i had introduced to get rid of the 1099 requirements on small business that is in the health care bill. our leadership was given 10 seconds notice. >> will the gentleman yield? >> i am happy to if the lady will give me more than 10 seconds. >> is not a general rule. it is a democratic rule. >> so there is an exception to the calendar. >yes. let's just make it clear that 10
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seconds is not 72 hours. perhaps you ought to inform your leadership. i would like to ask mr. rodriguez this. if you estimate that 75% of those working in the fields are here illegally, 25% are here legally. how are you able to attract that -- how are we able to attract that 25% since their presumably subject to the same price structure and working conditions as the others? >> thank you marie much. -- very much. there are thousands of people who are working here legally. they have worked hard. they have worked with employers they enjoy working with. they enjoy their work. they continue to do so. they have good wages and good benefits, medical plans, pension
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e and appropriate or conditions. -- and a corporate working conditions -- and appropriate working conditions. >> i think that is part of it. >> my question is -- i am trying to work this out and figure out if your premise is that we do not have people going into the fields because americans will not take those jobs, and then you tell me that 25% of those people in the fields are americans, my question is, how were we able to successfully attract them? is it different than the conditions and wages available to the other 75%?
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could we attract a larger number of americans are replicating what we do for the 25%? >> our solution is realistic and practical. the agricultural industry needs workers now. they have a workforce that they worked with and have worked with for many years. we're asking to give them the opportunity to have legal status in this country. the result of that, the conditions will improve, the wages will improve the likelihood of american consumers having good, safe food will also be improved. >> is it absolutely essential to the agricultural jobs bill that the people who would benefit from it on the workers side are allowed to be on the path to citizenship and thereby be put in front of the law and others to follow the law -- and others who follow law? >> they will not be put in front
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of the line. they would have to continue to work for the next three to five years in the agricultural to qualify to even get a green card. they would not give a green card until after they had been able to demonstrate their continued ability to work in the agricultural for certain amount of time. then it would be able to get a green card, which does not put them in front of the line, but gives them the opportunity -- >> let me ask another question. one of the major countries as mexico. how long does one have to wait in mexico if one wants to get in line for legal entry into the united states and work toward a green card? >> i have no idea. workers that i work with, unfortunately, come in a different way. >> that is the question about the front of the line. if people have to work 3, 5, 8,
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10 years to get legally, and these people qualify automatically, they are qualifying -- they are being put in front of the line. is it essential to your program that they be put on the path toward citizenship, as opposed to another type of legal status? >> the jones time has expired -- the gentleman's time has expired. >> thank you for your efforts to fix this problem. it is essential that the workers that are here now be allowed to have work authorization for x number of years. the ag jobs contemplates fixing one program. let's figure out how to legally bring workers to pick crops. that is of utmost importance. i cannot afford to lose a crop for one year. the saddest on the road is part of our american -- status down
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the road is part of our american willingness to extend our country. putting them at the front of the line -- they do not go to the front of the line. they will have work authorizations for some years, then they can seek their citizenship. >> thank you. i recognize the gentle lady from california, miss sanchez. >> thank you. thank you to all the panelists. i have heard so many interesting, and somewhat outrageous, claims today. i kind of do not even know where to begin with some of the questioning. i want to start by making an observation. as some members of the panel have suggested, these workers are taking jobs that americans want. if that is true, i would expect there would be zero unemployment in the agricultural sector. i would expect that many
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americans would be rushing during this tough economic time to take these jobs. and yet, mr. rodriguez, how many people actually inquired about going down to take a job in the fields? >> about 3 million hits on our web site since june 24 -- website since june 24. of that group, 8600 were serious about trying to apply. of that group, we have documented seven people that are actually working in the fields right now. >> have that seven remained in the field? >> as far as we know, yes. >> that is a huge dropoff between in greece and actually people who signed up -- between the inquiries and the actual people who signed up. >> absolutely. >> to take your jobs campaign -- i have a hard time believing that if you called it take a job campaign that those 8000 people would be working in the field
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today. that is my personal opinion. i do not think the semantics, once people figured out what the work entails, that is where the big drop off came in. is that an accurate assessment? >> we did not go to experts to design this campaign. as i mentioned earlier, it was farm workers who suggested that we invite people to come and work in the fields. they are tired of hearing the criticism that as far and workers and immigrants, they're taking away american jobs. >> thank you. i am sorry to cut you off. just want to get through these questions. i am hearing from colleagues on the other side of the aisle and some panelists that the reason why americans do not take these jobs is because the pay is not high enough. the working conditions are bad. i think it is interesting. correct me if i am wrong, but
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most agricultural workers are not covered by workers' compensation law, minimum wage a law, or overtime law, the right to organize. am i correct? >> yes, you are. >> if you really want to wait just to go up in this industry, as you say you do, so that american workers will want this -- if you really want the wages to go up in this industry, as you say you do, so that american workers will want these jobs, it seems like there should be reformed. we have votes taken in congress on specific things that would help raise wages for workers like the minimum-wage increase, increasing the federal minimum wage increased -- over two years. i know that some of my colleagues voted no on the bill. i find it sort of contradictory that they would now be saying that we just need to be higher.
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when we try to raise the wages for workers across the country, they vote no. >> will the gentle lady yield? >> i will not. i have questions to ask. you spoke of the number of farms, including in my home state of california, who were considering moving their operations overseas. can you talk in greater detail about why a farmer would move operations to another country and what that does to our local economies in this country when they relocate? how can we reduce the incentive for those farmers to relocate in other countries? >> thank you, congresswoman. i am essentially a small business person. i need to make a profit. i operate by supply and demand. world supply. essentially, if a farmer is going to not be able to grow, harvest compaq, sell at a
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profit, then that farm is going to go out of business. that food will come from somewhere else. our apples compete with chalet and apples right now -- to lay and apples -- chilean apples right now if i cannot continue to grow, produce, and sell at a profit, i will go out of business. i will have nothing to pass on. >> everybody supported by the business would be losing their jobs. >> certainly.
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>> what would they have to pay you to get you to do that job? >> whatever thie sag rate is. [laughter] >> i have accumulated a list of things that i need to rebut, not least of which is the minimum wage position. mr. glaize paces workers $93 a day for $9 -- nine hours of work. yet miss sanchez says there are not laws that ag apply that a workers. -- not laws that apply to ag workers. there is inconsistent russia now. the evidence is right here. -- there is inconsistent application now. there must be reason he pays
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more than the minimum wage. it is called supply and demand. i am sure doctors went to the address that context. -- i am sure dr. swain could address that context. i her spend more time and labor than anybody else in this panel. -- i have spent more time on labor than anybody else on this panel. i know that i cut to shore up more time and produce more workers per hour or somebody would be -- i knew that i would need to show up on time and produce more work per hour or somebody would take that job. if someone could not dig and they had to stop and rest on the shovel, somebody would be sitting there waiting to take the job right arm of their hand. the back of the line piece of this -- mr. rodriguez's testifies that they would go to the back of the line. it is important that we understand where that is. if you look at the lines in each
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of the countries where people have illegally applied to come to america -- and i have great respect for those who want to achieve the american dream -- but that line is about 50 million long if you add up the accumulated vises in various varieties -- visas in the various ridings. we know it could take up to nine years. it takes a long time to bring in even a family member. if we're point to talk about the back of the lion, it is behind the 50 million -- if we are going to talk about the back of the line, it is behind the 50 million, not in front. the fine started out at $500.10 to seven under $50, then perhaps $1,500. -- the fine started out at $500
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and went to $750 then perhaps to $15. the thing about this subject is -- perhaps to $1,500. the thing we're talking about here israel ruled law. the 72-hour law says that mr. lungren donna bragg >> perhaps eisenhower was the last of ministration that has advanced immigration law. the 86 amnesty act said this would be the last amnesty ever. ronald reagan was honest. he said he was signing an
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amnesty bill. i believed him. i have the records we kept. nobody showed up to look at those documents. the enforcement diminished administration after administration. there is now contempt for the rule of law. we now have this debate before the panel. it seems to argue that we should simply disregard all of the law breaking. the argument i have heard is that we cannot enforce the law appeared we can and we must reestablish the rule of law. i do not suggest we chase people up and put them in home -- put them in trains to send them back to their country. i suggest we enforce the law with the cooperation of local law enforcement officials. i suggest that we look to each other, our neighbors, and understand if somebody is standing on the line, on the clock, being paid, and unlawfully working in the united
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states, they are taking jobs that a legal worker could do. this country has an oversupply of under skilled labor. that is what the people that grow up around me that decided they did not want to go on and get higher education can no longer punch the clock and made the same -- make the same money that an educated high-school teacher does. as i watched the gavel start to move, rather than ask a question, i will make a point. i watched, mr. colbert, the video of you packing beans. i saw you unpacking corn. i will assume you ran the film back wwards. >> the gentleman's time has expired. >> madam chair, could he be
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given a minute or two to respond? >> i did not actually ask the question. i do not think i disparaged him. >> perhaps mr. gonzales will give the witness a minute of his time. mr. gonzales is now recognized for five minutes. >> do you wish to respond? >> i did not understand the statement. or you implying that i was not actually doing the work that i was depicted as doing? >> with the gentleman yield? -- would the gentleman yield? >> you often just talk to each other. >> i will. >> thank you for yielding. i only made the points that, in watching the film on youtube,
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of you working on the farm. i saw you with the corn. in iowa, we know corn. that is what we do. i know there is corn brought in and i thought it was curious on that farm when you were unloading a crate, rather than loading it. it looked like it was going the wrong direction. i only presume that they must have run the film back worwards. >> which direction was the corn going? >> i want to make sure if i get this answer wrong, i cannot be held for perjury. i was a corn packer. i put it in the truck and packed it to keep it at 38
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degrees so it coul -- would not go to starch. i know that the term "corn packer" can be offensive for gay iowans and i hope i did not offend anyone. >> i will reclaim my time. [laughter] most of us here are lawyers. we talk about the role of a law combination of law, not men. -- we talk about the rule of of law, nottion f men.
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the only solution for anyone here who does not have legal status -- that is an illegal -- is deportation. do you agree with that? should one size fits all -- fit all? one punishment for all. if you're not here legally, you shall be deported. >> it is my understanding that the cases are observed individually by an administrative judge who has the discretion to look at particular circumstances. there are people who accidentally fall into illegal status. >> no. we're talking about a foreign worker who came here in violation of our globs -- our laws to pick our fruits and vegetables. >> if they come here illegally and they were aware of the law -- >> from my experience, i come from a city that has many
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immigration cases, i have been told that if you came here illegally, misrepresenting your status, in any way, you are barred from remaining in this country. let's assume that i am right and the judge has no discretion. should the judge have discretion other than deportation? >> i think we should enforce the law or change them if we're uncomfortable with enforcing them. >> we're trying to understand immigration reform. equal justice under the law. sometimes the alleged abuse does not work. they're not applicable -- sometimes the law does not work. they are not applicable. if you are of a like mind with my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, let me ask you this. >> can ask you something? >> let me just finish. they used most of my time. >> i am sorry.
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>> the death penalty is the ultimate punishment. here, it is that you get deported. there are a couple of parties to the action. why do we close a business that is employing of these individuals? we stop them on the wrist, give them a fine, place them on probation. if you treat the employee in the absolute, why would you not do that to the employer? why do we have a range of a punishment for the employer, but not for the employee? you're telling me who was being exploited and victimized. you seem to agree on those principles that wages are somehow depressed, working conditions deplorable, and until they improve, we're not going to have a domestic labor market. >> the gentleman's time has expired. >> i would throw the employers
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in jail if it were up to me. they do get slapped on the wrist. they are part of the problem. it has to be addressed. the problem i have with the way the democrats seem to be defining "comprehensive immigration reform" is that it seems to not include what i would consider a comprehensive approach. you look at all of the aspects. "crosstalk -- [crosstalk] guest: >> she knows better to use the word -- than to use the word "amnesty." we turn to the gentle lady from california. >> ranking member smith questions mr. colbert's expertise as a witness. in the past, republicans have had witnesses who played hot
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lips houlihan from "m.a.s.h." and clint eastwood to testify. republicans have invited elmo to talk about music education. on another note, mr. colbert, thank you for attending this hearing and highlighting the plight of farm workers. the situation is dire. for the state of california, i heard about the case where he came from mexico for better life and took a job that few americans wanted to do. every day in the hot summer months, he picked grapes or 10 hours straight in -- for 10 hours straight in 105 degree
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temps. he fell ill. rather than call the ambulance, they told his son to drive him home. he died of heat stroke on the way home at the age of 53. there have been 23 reported deaths since 2001 -- those are the reported. this was the last straw. i helped care legislation for shade and water on every farm so that workers can be protected. the anyone talk about working conditions having to do with -- did anyone talk about work conditions having to do with heat, water, or shade? >> thank you for the question.
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we did not talk that much. i do not speak spanish mary well. they seemed very busy with the beans and corn. i tried to get them to sing and they did not seem to want to. i tried to find out about their working conditions as far as medical services, health care, breaks. they seem to be working the entire time. >> did you experience any of these issues pertaining to keep? -- heat? >> it was very hot. it was harder than i like to be -- hotter than i like to be. >> why would any american want to work in a job like this? >> i believe that americans are tough and they do tough jobs. it is not a job i want to do. not a lot of people took mr. rodriguez up on his offer.
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from the statistics that my researchers found, it seems there is a lack of labor in parts of the united states. it seems to say that americans do not want to take these jobs. i do not want to say definitively that they will not. >> you could work on some issues, why this one? >> i like talking about people who do not have any power. this seems like some of the least powerful people in the united states -- the migrant workers to come and do our work, but do not have any results -- any rights as a result. we still and i tend to come here and at the same time ask them to leave. -- we still invite them to come here and at the same time ask them to leave. this seems like the least of our brothers. a lot of people fall into that category because the economy is so hard. i do not want to diminish
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anyone's part ship. migrant workers suffer -and have no rights. >> thank you. in response to ms. swain, i would say that, according to the recent data, 8.8 million workers work for minimum wage, many of them in undesirable jobs. according to urinalysis, if we paid americans more, they would be -- according to your analysis, if we paid americans more, they would be willing to work in this field. but they still do not do that. i think it's as a lot. i yield back. >> i will now recognize myself for five minutes. i think this has been a very interesting and helpful hearing. as i have listened to my colleagues, i have heard really
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a plea that we upgrade the conditions of migrant farm workers. as i listened to miss sanchez, i thought i might introduce a bill that provides for the rights of t farm rightso or -- the rights of farm workers to organize. we would make sure that farm workers -- migrant farm workers are covered by workers' compensation. the minimum wage laws -- they should also be covered by overtime laws. i am hoping when i do, those who have spoken so passionately about the need to upgrade conditions for farmworkers, will be among the first to ask to co-
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sponsor that bill. i will be working with ms. sanchez to do that. in my career, prior to being in congress, i actually was an immigration lawyer at one time. i talked immigration law part- time -- taught immigration l.a. debut part time. congress makes the loss -- i taught immigration law part- time. congress makes the laws. we allocate 5000 visas a year. when people say you ought to do with the legal way, i think they probably do not know there are only 5000 visas per year. we have 2 million farm workers. i do think it is important that we make available all jobs to
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the people who are here. as the campaign has shown, there are some jobs that are not a good fit for people who are not employed. part of the problem is that these are seasonal, migrant jobs. i was very pleased to go to new york and look with mr. au pair -- mr. colbert at the farm there. i am mindful of my trip to the strawberry farm outside my district where, luckily, the farm workers are represented by the united farm workers. those migrant farm workers $90,000 per00 to year. they have health care benefits. -- $18,000 to $19,000 per year. they have health care benefits. employers are not able to get
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americans to take these jobs. they are killer jobs. i picked strawberries. we can say it is a good idea or a bad idea, but that is just the reality. reading the testimony in understanding the number of farms that have simply folded, it has implications for the entire american work force, upstream, downstream. we have 3 too 4 jobs -- to 4 jobs that americans are doing for every farm worker that is here. if the farms clothes and go offshore -- close and go offshore, it is not just a farm workers who are displaced, it also affects the americans who are relying on that food. i would like to thank the
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witnesses. people do not realize that they are often volunteers who are here to help make a better country, to help congress understand an issue better. each of you has done that today. i thank you for doing so. i thank the members. the record remains open for 5 legislative days so that members may submit material. members may have additional questions for the witnesses that will also be submitted within five days. if that should occur, we would request respectfully that the response be forthcoming. with that, thank you to the witnesses and members for their participation. we adjourn this committee. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010]
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>> thank you. lovely to meet you. thank you very much. >> thanks very much. >> are you glad you came? >> yeah, i learned a lot. >> are you worried about trivializing these issues? >> [inaudible]
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host: joining us from new york is bruce jones of the new york university. he is with the center of international corp. director and serve as a former senior adviser for the caucus -- for the office of u.n. secretary general. can you give us an explanation of what you did at the u.n. as
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far as your role there? guest: i helped on the israeli- palestinian negotiations at the time and then i came back in 2004 and help to the then secretary general put together a series of reforms. he wanted a series of changes made to have the u.n. do business. i help him put that set of ideas on the table. host: you were quot earlier this week. this is a little bit of what you said. you said, -- expand on that? guest: ike was saying, in the old debt -- in the old days of the u.n., they could push decisions through. the big factor in international
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politics right now is the rise of the new powers -- china, india, and brazil as well as south africa and turkey. they have greater influence in regional politics and a greater inuence in global politics. it means the united states and europe needs to find new ways, new alliances, and strike up new relationships to get things done. that is only the beginning. i think this administration has done a good job in forging a new relationship with india at the u.n. on issues like peacekeeping. we are still in the early days of that. the efforts to find new paths of cooperation i being seen outside of the u.n. i think a lot of the issues will come back precisely because it is the only place where the united states and emerging powers can cooperate on security issues. host: you mentioned china,
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india, and brazil being those that are withholding their power. can you give us an example of their influence? guest: i am less concerned with their influence in the un but more concerned about their influence in the world. china is an enormous economic actor, second biggest economy and the world. they have a great deal of influence. india is also a huge new economy and rising rapidly. it has a great deal of influence and its own region and in international diplomacy. they can block issues and obstruct u.s. decisions in the u.n. the united states will need to find new ways to negotiate with those actors. india is one of the largest contributors to peacekeeping operations at the u.n. it is something similar to what happened in this country, no
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taxation without representation. they are not going to continue to put all this energy into peacekeeping operations without having more of a vote. host: as far as reforms go, what would you advocate as #one to make the u.n. and me effective body? guest: i think the big reform out there it ishe reform of the u.n. security council. the united states will continue to veto. two european countries have a veto. russia has a veto. and china has a veto, which is a historical accident in a sense. the question n, how do you bring india, brazil, south africa, indonesia, these countries that play major roles,
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how do you bring them intohe decision making of the security council to take on more responsibility? is a question of taking on responsibility and being able to pursue objectives of the u.s. and in the region. -- of the u.n. in the region. host: the countes that currently hold the power have to shepherd these countries or bring them into the body? guest: that is right. i thinkhe u.s. has to take the lead in this. the united states will not give up seats. none of the emerging powers can forge a deal around these issues. i think the longer it waits, the
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worst the deal will be for the united states. i think it should ac soon to forge a deal and bring these news actors into the security council on terms that are beneficial for the u.n. and for the united states. host: why do you think there is reluctance see? guest: i think there is a hesitation. if you have less power an you did before, there is a lot of discussion in the press about the relative decline of u.s. power. the united states is vastly still the most powerful country in the world. in the world. i think the united states should get over the discomfort and move forward with most of the actors that will be coming in. these are not crazy countries by
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any stretch of the imagination. these are perfect sensible countries with major contributions to make. host: bruce jones is our guest from new york university. we will talk about the u.n. and if it is still relevant. you can contribute by phone. the numbers for democrats, republicans, and independence are on your screen. c-span.org is the email. you said when the need for changes was seen, did he envisioned these changes of reform during s term? what kind of reforms did he want to see be put in place? guest: he proposed a reform for the security council to bring in some of these new actors and propose tough new msures on
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terrorism. he proposed a very controversial idea known as the responsibility to protect the notion that if a country like zimbabwe or sudan failed in its domestic responsibility to protect human rights of its own citizens, the security council could intervene to protect those human rights. that was endorsed by the general assembly. he wanted aew work, tougher measures on nuclear non- proliferation. those were blocked ironically by the bush administration. he proposed a number of measures to strengthen against nuclear proliferation, terrosm, those kinds of issues, and at the same time, to bng these new actors and capture their interests to assist in those functions. host: has those traditions been carried on?
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guest: one of the other things he argued, and was criticized publicly for, was around the management of the u.n., which is quite weak. there were accusations of corruption and of a scandal. he has not been as focused on the substantive reforms. it in my mind, that is a mistake. you have to continue to improve performance on the key a threat out there. host: memphis, tn., our democrats line. caller: i think it is becoming irrelevant -- relevant. countries around the world are trying -- are forming alliances. i think the u.n. could become irrelevant if it can sho that it can settle some of the issues
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with countries without standing armies and settle with them in their favor. the palestinian issue is one of the most leering examples of what the u.n. needs to finally show that they can solve. everybody is seeing that it needs to be solved and the injustice there. thank you. guest: i agree with half of your comments. i served in that arena for years. i disagree on the point of view of -- i think the u.s. veto remains critically important at the u.n. the united states will not bring it important issues to the u.n. unless it knows its interests are protected. that is what the veto it does, it protect u.s. interests. that is important. that is important. international organizations work
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wednesday at mary the interests of powerful nations with key principles. that is what the u.n. was founded to do. it does not always get it right. it is tt marriage of power and principle that makes it function when it does. i think the veto is extremely important. host: columbus, ohio, james on our independent line. caller: the u.n. continues to undermine the sovereignty of the united states and of the middle- class. it is becoming a pawn to the chinese and indians and globalization. china is a communist country. 51% ofvery company is owned by thehinese gernment. we need a policy that represents the interests. we need to fix the imports.
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let's import from massachusetts or indiana. let's make things here. if the price of a t-shirt goes up, if you don't have a job, it does not matr what the price is. that is my opinion. i think the united nations is helping to undermine our middle- class and our power in the world. host: why don't you start with a claimed that the u.n. undermines the united states? guest: it is quite wrong. the united nations is founded on the concept of sovereignty. in many ways, it is too conservative on sovereignty. in some extreme circumstances, the security council could vote to intervene against the country's sovereigntyo protect human rights. that is the only circumstance that the u.n. to intervene. other than that, sovereignty is
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the key principle of the united nations. the u.n. has no power to intervene in the united states whatsoever. this is a myth of the u.n. on the economics, the u.n. is an organizaon that tackles international security questions. it has an economic arm but it is pretty powerless. the concerns about globalization are real. they do not have much to do with the united nations. the have to do with the world bank and the world trade organization, the institutions in which the global economy is being regulated. there is very, very little that happens in international politics that the united states does not agree with. that is the reality of world power and is reflected by these institutions. host: san diego, calif., think
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you for waiting. john, democrats line. caller: i would like to talk about ahmadinejad's speech. the news guy said how could we allow this to happen? how could we allow ahmadinejad to speak at the u.n.? i think that is very biased view presented by fox news. he is supposed to be a news die. host: what is your question? caller: it goes back to the previous call. they get one side of the view about the u.n. i think mr. jones -- i thank mr. jones for coming on and presenting the other side. if you only watch the one if you only watch the one channel, all you are going to get is negative stuff.
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the guy that was in the un in the previous administration, he is a regular guy. that is virtually the only view that you get from that station host: mr. jones, to the thought of ahmadinejad being able to speak at the u.n guest: it is a routine criticism. i am not one of those that think it is a bad thing. i think he looks crazy. i think there are very few things that undermines his argument more than being out there in front of the world speaking. he looks nuts. his arguments are outrageous and he has to say them in fnt of the entire world. i think it helps undermine what shred of report he has with other countries. so i do not have a problem with
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ahmadinejad speaking at the u.n. i think it displays his views to the entire world. this is an issue that the united nations is still grappling with. does it try to say you have to conform to certain standards in order to participate with certain kinds of decision making? i am in favor of going further in that direction. i think the ability of countries to participate in a serious way in major decision making bies of the united nations should be tied to their performance on these issues. that does not mean that countries like libya should not be a part of the human rights council. we could have a human rights council composed of the united states, sweden, norway, denmark, and canada who would care? what would be the point? the whole point of those bodies
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is to confront those countries whose behavior is problematic. you have to have the human rights violators in the human rights council, otherwisethere is no point. i think that is with the idea of some standards for performance should come in for who gets to sit on what body at the u.n. host: the united nations came into existence in 1945. the currentecretary general of the u.n. is -- albert on our republican line, go ahead. obama: why haven't the administration pulled the plug on colonialism? he had a shot to do his legacy in foreign policy but he has not spoken out against colonialism? could you explain that to me?
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guest: there is not much of it left. there are few countries left in the world under colonialism. he has talked to the united nations about the need to fd new ways of cooperation against transnational cooperative the threats. i think his argument at the united nations has been -- has been pretty compelling. his argument at the un, i think, have been pretty compelling. it host: your criticisms as far as what areas? guest: i am going to pick one, which is peacekeeping. last year, obama came to the united nations and did something quite unique. he hosted a meeting with other heads of state and particularly chose those countries that were major contributors to peacekeeping operations.
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he thanked them for their efforts, pledged to do more themselves. he made the case that u.n. peacekeeping -- he pledged to then find new ways for america to contribute to u.n. peacekeeping. there has been an effort to look at options, but it has not gone very far. there are good reasons for that but i think more could be done. he came back this year and said now is the time to reinvigorate u.n. peacekeeping. host: we have a question off of twitter for you. a viewer asks -- guest: two answers because it depends on what kind of budget. we will not go into the boring details. the former budget of the u.n.,
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the united states pays about 22%. then there are parts of the budget which are voluntary. the united states is often 40% or 50% of that funding. the united states is a huge founder of the u.n. i would highlight that it is instructive, when it is a voluntary question, the united states pays more. they don't ve to contribute those voluntary funds, but they do it because they see it the united states interests. i like to use the analogy is like the military analogy.
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he might have your largest defense along your borders, but you want somebody on a distant hill to see what threats are coming around the horizon. that is what the u.n. does. the united states is very preoccupied by an increase of the presence in somalia. if they were not there, the united states would have to be there themselves. the united nations does the distant-horizons security. ththe u.n. also has an infectious disease monitoring mechanisms all over the world. host: colorado, good morning. our independent line. caller: a quick question, observation. i am one of those that believe that these problems are so transient across the globe, 25 years from now, people will look
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back and say obama really did do a great job in terms of bringing american exceptional listen, helping to form coalitions, helping withiddle east peace, the speech in egypt, all of those i think have been great things. it will be 25 years from now. my question specifically -- china becoming so powerful ecomically and in the military. they have not asserted themselves on the economic scene. is there a reason that they have not become engaged? guest: there is a big debate about china and it is a really important question in international politics right now. they are enormously powerful economically. there are 20 years behind the ited states in the military. when they say, and there are some reasons to believe this,
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they recognized that their economic growth came as a function of their integration in the global economy, a global economy underwritten by the united states, its rules written by the united states. they profited from that system. they have no interest in undermining that. when they aue is they want a "peaceful rise pirko they are not going to challenge the basic system. there are some reasons to believe that. they are building up their military capacity and their foreign policy capacity. 10 years from now, they would be an imposition to challenge that basis. i am more of an optimist because i think the basic economic reality is there growth is dependent on open, global system. there would be in real trouble if that broke down. i think we saw the proof of that during the financial crisis.
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it was the united states, europeans, and china that really put together the package of measures that slowed the global economy and began the process of economic recovery. china was an extremely active and constructe participant with the united states in forging that response. that was a critical test. they could have acted differently. they could have allowed the system to collapse but it would have suffered just as much as we did. it was in their interest to rescue the global economy. you see the proof of the economic situation. that does not mean there will be a whole host of issues that we disagree with china. there is going to be a whole host the places that we disagree with china, but t underlying basis is going to be one that there are deeply shared interests within the global economy and with some aspects of global stability host: bruce
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jones is our guest. he was a former senior adviser at the office of the u.n. secretary general. we are talking about the role of the united nations and if it is still relevant. still relevant. caller: as far as the globalization of imports and the land here in the u.s., we have so many farms and there are so ma peoe out of work. cheap labor, i think, is a big problem. yesterday on c-span, they said it would cost us $8 more a year if we paid american workers and
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a little more money to work in the fields. i think that would put a lot of people back to work. people back to work. if you hire an illegal worker, they should take your company or you should be jailed. host: we will leave it there. i think people are familiar with larger assembly meetings. what goes on behind the scenes? guest: i think the most important thing that the u.n. does is in the field. it has 20 peacekeeping operations around the world 30 dealing with humanitarian crises. it helps countries run elections and fosters democracy in a
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number of countries. it has agencies that undertake the poorest countries on education and a whole host of things. i think that is what really counts at the u.n. it saves hundreds of thousands of lives every year through its peacekeeping operations and helps maintain stability in critical regions. they don't always succeed. they fail probably half of the time. but the ones that succeed make a huge difference. that is what really matters. i can tell you how many committees, commissions, boards, agencies and all sorts of stuff. a lot of that is pretty irrelevant, but the key of what the core that they do is the response to an internal war, transnational threats, and that
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is very relevant. host: when is the discussions about the millennium been relevant -- benevolent world, how does that fit in to your thoughts of being relevant darks -- relevant? the millennium and development goals were a set of international goals established in 2000 which are very noble aims. they said, let's all agree to cut verty in half, to improve maternal health, child health. all of these are extremely important goals. our criticism i not with t goals. our criticism is that it had become to link these simply to discussion of aid spending.
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i do not think it is development aid spending that is actually helping to achieve those gls. this is about ending war, promoting stability, reforming the governance in side these countries, access to finance. this is really not development aid being the central part of the story. the obama administratn in their speech got this right. their speech got this right. they said this is not just about ai but a whole broad approach to economic reform in the four countries. give them access to trade it global financend a whole sweep of the issues they need to be able to grow. development d is a small part of the story. host: 10 more minutes with our guest. add on our line for democrats. caller: hello. caller: hello. i saw the president's o speech in
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ont of the u.n. they cut short on the is really speech. i have not heard any reason why they we. why were they not there? why have we not heard about it darks guest: this is the first i have heard of this. i can only guess they had a bilateral meeting with the palestinians or something along that. i would be surprised if there was any kind of intended snub. host: on our independent line from cambridge. caller: what is the real purpose of the united nations darks -- nations? [unintelligible] guest: the answer is very few. the united states has 53, 52, or a tiny number of soldiers
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fighting under the banner of the united nations. china has about 1000, mostly engineers, police, in haiti and another police -- and other places. that comes to an old tradition that peacekeeping should be undertaken by other counies not by the united states, u.k., russia, and france. that came about after the cold war. the long tradition is that it is countries like canada, brazil, sweden, that contribute the forces. the logic being they have a huge competitive interests in these conflicts and you do not want them putting soldiers in to fight them out if you want more neutral countries helping to police stability. i forgot the first question. host: i did not take a note of it. this house to do with the budget question off of twitter. what percentage of the funding
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of the u.n. and its agencies is spent on political aspects v technical and humanitarian assistance? guest: it depends on what you countdown how you count the peacekeeping operation. their budget is about $8 billion per year. the regular budget is $6 billion per year. a small percentage goes to political issues. then you have to add in t world food program which is $5 billion per year which is purely humanitarian. the u.n. development plan which is about $5 blion, unicef is about $2 billion. the estimate is around 30% of the budget going to peacekeeping, political mediation, and those types of issues. 70% goes to humanitarian or development issues. host: on our democratic line, robert in washington, d.c.
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caller: good morning, c-span. i was just wondering that people call a ahmadinejad a lunatic and he raves all the time. there is a video that you can google that is called, "the ring of power." this video states that there is a bunch of rich people in this world who started these wars and a profit from all of them. it gives the idea that, you know, this is why we are having these problems because of these certain groups of people. it is called the ring of power. for people to make the statement that the things that this man is saying, of the things that have happened as far as 9/11, it is not untrue. host: mr. john starks -- mr.
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jones? guest: i am one of those who think bachman and a java's statements are crazy. -- i am one of those who think walkman and a dried -- richeople always make profits. that is true in history. there are real reasons that some countries go to war. it is rarely. some rich guy tries to manipulate events to go to war. that is in line with conspiracy theory. even if that were true, it has no bearing on whether stockman in the job 0-- his statements are true. host: on our independent line. caller: i wanted to note the united nations gives voice to north korea still and what is
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it of their take? guest: north korea has a vote in the general assembly along with all of the other member states. no. career as a country has just about zero influence in the proceedings of the u.n. have to make a distinction between the genal assembly where is it one country, one- vote system and the security council and peacekeeping operations where it is the more powerful couries that shape the operations. you can see that in the fact that the securitcamera has passed resolutions restricting actions. the security cards and has been able to act. the fact that north korea has a vote in the general assembly does not restrict the security
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camera from acting in that way. that is the dynamic guys spoke about before with the dynamic incredible. every coury is sovergn, one country, one-vote, etc. they get together in smaller groups to conta the risk pose by a country like north korea. host: she is our you and rep. what is your job? how, in your opinion, do you think she is doing? guest: i think she is doing an outstanding job. she has to represent the u.s. positions in interest that the united nations. there is a second job which is more subtle which is to build coalitions for u.s. interests. she has done an outstanding job with that and it has made a huge difference in the way the united states is perceived that the you -- u.n. she has built a relationship
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with the block of african nations. she has done a lot to restore the u.s.'s standing in the u.n. which is great because they need their votes on it all -- on a whole host of issues. to go back to the issues i started wit she has really forged a critically important relationship with the government of india which matters because india is such an important peacekeeping operation. on any issue like saddam, the condo, somalia, india is likely to be important player. e has forged a really important relationship with india on those issues and she has played a critical role in helping the security care so hold iran. she has done a very good job but simultaneously pursuing american interests in building the broader coalition for action at the u.n. host: minneapolis, minnesota.
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go ahead. caller: with the peacekeeping forces in israel, they hold them out. out. what are they feeling about the frustration for them to decide to pull them out? if there are claiming that to be relevant, how do you make sense of that? i will listen offline. guest: this goes to a question earlier. with rare exceptions, the united nations is able to have peacekeepers in ethiopia but only if they agree. if they want them gone, then they have to leave. a critical point to recognize is the primary responsibility for resolving conflicts challenges
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rests with the government in question. the u.n. can help and deploy forces to for see. the all the responsibility rests with the governments. it is a matter for governments to act. you would save, and this goes back to the argument earlier, the argument that when you reach extreme circumstances where the government is so irresponsible that it is massively abusing the rights of its own citizens. they should be will the same we're going to stay in the moment this ourselves. it was adopted by the general assembly and the security capital. in practice, that is a tough thing to do.
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and takes a lot of money, and governments are not always willing put that on the table for a country in where human rights are being abused. it is still a contrersial doctrine. we are seeing right now in sudan and somalia its failure to implement that fully. it is an important conceptual about that auber to friction over time. host: fm vermont, on our inpendent line. caller: i heard of you work in agriculture in the united states that the employers can pay you less than minimum wage and that is why americans do not work in this field. with the globalization, as wages go up in other countries, our wages will go down until the whole world's wes are about the same. host: do you have a question
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about the united nations? caller: it is about the globalization. as wages in other countries go up, ours will go down. i just want to know how beneficial that is to us? host: mr. jones? guest: united nations has nothing to do with those issues. on a different topic, economic globalization, in my mind we are in an open economy. some of our jobs are overseas and some jobs come here. host: last call from chattanooga, tennessee. go ahead. caller: i am calling regarding the united nations and their key players being mainly christian countries.
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countries. but there are killing all of the christians in dar for -- darfur. i'm would like to have his comments about this. thank you. guest: that is a very important question. i would not characterize it quite the way you did because the united nations, china for example, is a very important country in the united nation russia is an important country. i would not categorize it in terms of a weste or christian influence. neither the united nations or anyone else has been able to stop the killings in darfur. the rate of killing has diminished dramatically over the last two or three years. the issue here is other
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countries with a great deal of influence in sudan have not really put their shoulder to the wheel in terms of taking the type of position they should take to stop the government from the actions they're taking in the south. now there is a whole nother question which is the upcoming referendum in southern sudan about a new round of war. this is one of the more bleak episodes in contemporary history. the u.n. does the live there -- does not look good there. and is a bleak statementbout the current delegation. the current delegation.
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>> i must add that this must remine main the fact that this ra thousands of israeli prisoners. their suffering must be ended. >> in the event of the national right and freedom.
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our wounded hands are still capable of carrying an olive branch picked from the rubble we are keen on the establishments based on what is right. a settlement that leads to the complete withdraw by israel
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resulting in peace and communication. resulting and realizing we have excited to enter. >> the road map and the vision of the two state solutions, we have reaffirmed for the failure
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and the inability to reach the desired goals. requiring mainly the government to comply with the government and east jerusalem and surroundings. and put an anticipated to the policy of blockade and closure that restricts the lives they do
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not confusion we a firnlt by all resolution adopted in this i am mr. anti-ition between peace and english settlements.
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mr. president, i reaffirm our ready nos as we have always done so that and in a manner that realizes freedom, independent insurance and come bags and achieving security and safe ti for in order to uber in.
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rectifying the image can only bee that every based on june 4, 1967 with jerusalem as its capitol and agreeing including
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international humanitarian and civil rights. our people in spite of its great suffering, hold sted parse that in as at unity between the peeb spards. we are making an effort through all of the efforts doe ployed by
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our fwrojer. particularly out of trouble for egypt. we would spend no efforts on our part. in those institutions as the firm foundation we will also we shall also continue to up hold
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all negotiations in accordance with the road map and a dpriementes woechs here, i would like to express any special thanks to his excellency, praum. he rea firmented the two-state institution. we rea firnlt the ready yes, sirness we continue to play the
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essential role until arises and our people have regained the price and peace in ouren viern video we would like to present our identity. as well as the pledge that we will continue to hold onto the
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all enjoying these security and abilities. may god's mercy be upon you. mraus >> now canadian prime minister on his government's humanitarian efforts at the un ghenl assembly. this is about 15 mieptz.
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thank you. mr. president, your excellencies, ladies and jae. today, the can aid yanking people continue to believe in this and continue to strief and live by the principals that would make it possible.
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>> that same charter endorsed with happiness and hope ob in a same government on that official day in 1945. these believes as the universal membership of this body implies, so do people the world over. sox more is possible in this world of ours. it makes the gap so disappointing and causes onward to do more in successes in can
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aid yab government for almost a lifetime. those of developing countries continue to animate the government. the government i lead today. jo these ideals will being the question is how this is to be done on press conferences to take meaningful action. action that produces real results and helps real people with their struggle with
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oppression and poverty. >> as a founding member of the un and seventh harpingest shown during the difficulties and cold war. canada continues to pay a heavy price to fulfill our un ob lickation to or theed or the the narment to those in the service to our country and afghan tan.
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military efforts have sgon hand in hand with our revolvement fors. >> we have also invested heavily in others which will include the life elsewhere, we have expanded our efforts. we pledge to double our aid to africa making africa a leader in the g 8 pursuing this committee.
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we are on forecast to begin this by march of next year. all condition aidian aid will be untied by 2013. canada was the first. during the economic breaks as well, increasing the lending capacity itd humanitarian assistance and reconstruction in sudan in taking office in january 2006. >> canada has also given leadership to building peace in
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sirra lione. we welcome the resuming of talks between palestine we hope canada will continue to support the authority we are very ex-tensively engaged in haiti both before and since the
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>> canada has again responded swiftly. these actions are born from canadian ideals. so allow me to say one thing. we should know canada is eligible to serve on the council. the security council resolution. >> i should also mention canada's role this year. we tried to ensure that the
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canadas discern the broader interest. including with the secretary of the general and of course this orange >> such progress is vital in meeting the most achievable of the united nations development to redouse the callings among amongs and american
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>> contributing to the global strategy for women and children's health. we a flounced >> we will alleviate the sufferi suffering actions such as sneez are a moral par owe di. we need to mike a signature skant actual difference.
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that is why we are used our chairmanship of the g 8 to public the first account ability. we published the first report to fulfill the pledges we make. to that end, as many of you also know, canadian taxpayers have for given debt totally $1 million totally the world's
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>> is its the pressing need for all states of the world to adopt an anointed view of sovereignty. as i said earlier, respect is a foundational principal of the united nations, however, over the past few years, it has brought up a painful contribution. we travel together in one boat and not as solo voiagers. huh we travel together matters s. we are all interkwekted from cliechl at change to health and global economy.
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>> nations that do not consider the affect the their economic choizs with others. those who tiend the fraying feat in business, it's call the win-win. it is good for business.
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is it great now as it ever was. i refsh to the origin of the united nation. it was founded at the end of the greatest, most destructive war. that was attributable to an extremist tradition. we should never forget that that also allowed to gather such strength that it would require the whole of the world's leading three people to subdue it. for peace and development to build a better world, prevent war and contact, up hold what it right and protect the weak and poor.
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always deeply committed to these. it rye mains tor so today. for example, the protection of canada offer the proposition. i know it has been a long session this morning. i thank you for your attention. [applause] >> today, on news makers,
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senator john bara stfrn stfrn os that's at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. eastern here on c-span. >> i really under estimated how big the job is. i jumped from a possible 2012 presidential bid coming up later on c-span. >> you get to close is what you did when it does.
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>> british deputy prime minister nick clegg supports his position tonight at 9 on c-span. >> monday, google and politic c co-that's live on c-span 3. flu >> michelle obama addressed the clinton initiative. she taums
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[applause] >> if you think about what we have spent years doing, i am grateful that the president gave us this bill and the future that goes along with us and lower our unemployment rate i'm greatful
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we have a president that cares about the education and skills. >> in the hopes of creating a shared future. i am greatful that the president has embraced the development, partner sh
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partnership that we must go foertd together. with that, i present a person with one or two other claims at the time. he is willing to take the sonsibilities to the table. all the other things he has been doling with this this [applause] >> thank you. thank you so much. thank you. thank you very much. thank you.
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>> because of the work he's doing. for the past five years president clinton has applied his influence to the work of this mission. for that passion and determinati determination and that charm bringing hope and opportunity to more than 200 million people around the world.
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it is a remarkable level of achievement. i'm not here today to sing president clinton's praiseser to commend all of you for the terrific work each of you have done. i am here to play an important role. that is to introduce my better half. my wife and america's extraordinary first lady, michelle obama. [applause] >> bill clinton understands where i'm coming from here. he knows what it is like to be married to somebody smarter, better looking, somebody just all around a little more impressive than you are.
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this is not news to people. since we started dating 23 years ago. pretty much everyone he know who has met her has come up and said, you are great and all, your wife, she's really something. i agree. they are right. i feel grateful that michelle, so far at least, has not run for any office i was running for. she would beat me. fortunately for me as much adz she cares deeply for public service, she hasn't shown much
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interest in the political chatter. she doesn't think about what the polls say or who gets the best headlines. there's only one thing she wants to know, who are we helping? that's what she asks? who is this going to make a difference for the end you'd say it is michelle, her moral voice and moral center that cuts through all the noise in washington and reminds me why i'm consider r interest in the first place. she reminds me through her work and throwing open the doors of
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our wout to wroung people from all different backgrounds and letting them know that the white house is the people's house. and letting young people know that they are not that far away power, res teaing and all those other things. she reminds me with her work and being a voice for military families. i am tree mipdiously proud of the first lady she is, at the end of the day, i'm most
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thankful she's been a partner to me and the best mother i know. every moment, i spend with my daughters, i'm thankful for all these done to make them who they are. everyday, i see her strength and kindness and characters reflected in the two of them. there's greater gift. i know bill feels the same way with when he looks at chelsea, he sees this incredible voice that a mother can bring. to this day, i still don't know how i talked her into marying me. i am the luckiest guy in the world that she did. i'd like to introduce you to my first lady, america's first lady, michelle obama.
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[applause] >> thank you. thank you all so much. thank you very much. it's prayer that my husband inter douses me. i don't even know when to say. with an introduction like that, can you see why i married the
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guy. not so bad. the truth is, i feel pretty lucky myself. i want to thank my husband for being a wonderful partner and husband to myself. i want to thank president clinton for inviting us here today. also as barack said as a father who along with a wonderful wife raised a beautiful daughter in the white house, which i now know is a feat. we are trying to do our best every single day. thank all of you for combieping your compassion and idealism with a commitment to getting results. in coming together this week, you are forming your partnership and challenging each other to do
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even more. president clinton has asked you to do a challenge. that is harnessing human potential. in other words. as you ender to do more, to serve more communities, lift up more families, save more lives. >> how can you attack new ways to tap into the skill of the people. create new leaders here in america an around the world. how can you get people involved in our common end evers? i'm here today to ask you to consider a question here r near and deer to my heart and one i believe is vitally important for everything you are working to
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accomplish. that is the challenges faced by america's veteran and ril tarry families. >> at first glance, i know this issue may seem too uniquely american in scope, right now, the human mow ten shal is vavt and wowfully under utilized. that impacts what you and so many others are trying to achieve. not just hire in america but around the world. i've met them on bases and in
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hospitals across the country. i come away not just with a sense of pride and graduate tut but in awe. most share my respect, a lot of folks have no idea what that service entails. >> in don't know some of the most advanced systems in the world. distributing supplies to throughs of locations moving
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equipme equipment. >> more than 150,000 veterans are struggling to find jobs. we are working hard to get all americans back to work after a tough recession.
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but our veterans face a unique set of challenges. in one survey, more than three quarters veterans reported having trouble transferring the expert he's they had in the military into a resume that works for civilians. often, veterans find themselves becoming under utilized. jobs that don't try harness their talents. that can take a tol, a real tol. america's service men and women
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are resilient. it's proud. it's hard to spend years serving your country only to show that the value of your service is understood. let's not forget when america's troops are called to serve, families serve too. spouses work too running house olds alone. they face employment challenges on their own. it's hard to sustain a career when you have to keep meeting new state licensing and certification requirements. it's hard to impress employers
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who view a resume as a job with red flags than a reality and helping other military families do the same. many spouses had he lead fanlly readiness groups. let me take a moment to present the day of an frg leader looks like. she might spend the morning updating the latest information about their loved ones. over lunch, she may review the spending plan. in the afternoon, she might meet with healthcare representatives to learn with healthcare
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services. meet with teams. the evening comes bringing news that the deployed unit has received a casualty. lounding up support. >> if she were doing the same kind of work for a company, sheed been called a coo, ceo. a nice office and salary. why should things be any different just because she's not drawing a paycheck. let's be clear, they are not just well qualified for jobs in the private sector, they are an
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asset as well. america's men and women in uniform are often some of the first on the scene. they go on regular missions throughout the world. this work with governments and n dpfrn os, local businesses and civilians. and let's not forget about their spouses and the countless hours of volunteering they are doing.
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military spouses log more than 85,000 volunteer hours a year. >> i met a couple helping to organize the toys for tots drive. they spent so much time volunteering, they had to move their christmas tree into the volunteer center so they could enjoy it. they have the training to do the work you are doing everyday across the globe. are you establishing health clinics in remote parts of the globe. they do that too. are you working to get clean water into a village.
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are you trying to move people into safety. in that passion for serving. that commitment for helping others doesn't just disappear when they return to civilian life. 92% of them reported. . another% want to help at risk youth. for these folk, service is the air they breath, the reason they were put on this earth. many of them don't want to serve for just a certain must be of years.
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they want to make their whole life a tour of duty. these folks are passion natalie involved.
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using skills and experience vm they trek into some of the most historic areas to provide for the need. a former marine named jake wood watched? unfold on tv. you'd be ashamed of yourself if
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you didn't try to use them the skill and the will to serve. it's up to us to give them the opportunity. he's made veteran hiring a top priority hiring noerly 23,000 veterans this year alone.
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>> government can only do so much. thadz why i am here today. to ask for your help. whavr you are looking for. i'm asking to you reach out and engage that might mean asking to help your hiring managers
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translator developing chameninging opportunities taking the lead in respect. to nie, the department of defense is awarding the 2010 employer support freedom award. at that company when someone is deployed, the owner steps in to
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fill that person's duty and keeps in touch with that person's family during that deployment offering whatever kind of support they can provide. surely companies or non-profits of any size can benefit what it takes in that talent. it is not just about helping them, it's about how they can help you. do it because it is good for your bottom line. i'm not sure here today to challenge all of you. i'm here to make a commitment of
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my own. if you'll do your part to engage military spouses, i'll commits to my part to help you. i will do my part to connect with you experts and resources throughout the grorment from department of labor and defense. if you have questions about how a veteran and spouse fits, we will help you find those answers. if your staff wants to better understand that, we will connect you to the right people. today, i promise to continue to use my platform to bring people together around this issue. i work with not just